High-resolution sea surface reconstructions off Cape Hatteras over the last 10 ka

C. Cleroux, M. Debret, E. Cortijo, J.C. Duplessy, F. Dewilde, J.J.G. Reijmer, N. Massei

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    This study presents high-resolution foraminiferal-based sea surface temperature, sea surface salinity and upper water column stratification reconstructions off Cape Hatteras, a region sensitive to atmospheric and thermohaline circulation changes associated with the Gulf Stream. We focus on the last 10,000 years (10 ka) to study the surface hydrology changes under our current climate conditions and discuss the centennial to millennial time scale variability. We observed opposite evolutions between the conditions off Cape Hatteras and those south of Iceland, known today for the North Atlantic Oscillation pattern. We interpret the temperature and salinity changes in both regions as co-variation of activities of the subtropical and subpolar gyres. Around 8.3ka and 5.2-3.5 ka, positive salinity anomalies are reconstructed off Cape Hatteras. We demonstrate, for the 5.2-3.5 ka period, that the salinity increase was caused by the cessation of the low salinity surface flow coming from the north. A northward displacement of the Gulf Stream, blocking the southbound low-salinity flow, concomitant to a reduced Meridional Overturning Circulation is the most likely scenario. Finally, wavelet transform analysis revealed a 1000-year period pacing the δ18O signal over the early Holocene. This 1000-year frequency band is significantly coherent with the 1000-year frequency band of Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) between 9.5 ka and 7 ka and both signals are in phase over the rest of the studied period. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberPA1205
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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